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In Pakistan, ‘Modi ka jo yaar hai, woh ghaddar hai’ mood is on – ThePrint

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi | File Photo | ANI

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Winter is coming, but in Pakistan, the season of ‘Modi ka jo yaar hai, woh ghaddar hai’ is setting the mood. Yes, whoever is Narendra Modi’s friend in Pakistan is a traitor. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government is telling opposition leaders that when they criticise Prime Minister Imran Khan and his policies, they tend to make India happy. And when you make India happy, you make Indian Prime Minister Modi happy. That’s not all. According to this new doctrine, anyone happy on this side of the border is making Modi happy. Makes no sense, right?

However, in all this happiness, the ‘Prime Minister’ of Pakistan’s Kashmir has been made unhappy. Raja Farooq Haider just became the latest victim of the government’s hobby of declaring every opposition politician an agent of India and by virtue, a traitor. Haider was named in the mysterious sedition FIR against 40 leaders of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). He was in the august company of two former Pakistani prime ministers, Nawaz Sharif and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, three retired army officers, former Sindh governor, and former defence, interior and law ministers.

The FIR stated that Nawaz Sharif’s speech was aimed to indirectly “benefit his friend Indian Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi.” The complainant believed Sharif supported the policies of India and his speeches were to divert world’s attention from Indian atrocities in Kashmir. Also, Sharif wanted to isolate Pakistan globally and defame Pakistan Army as “an anti-democratic institution”.


Also read: Imran Khan has a new job — to teach Pakistan history and science. Except he gets it all wrong


Kashmir cause with a bias

So, what did PM Haider do that made him ‘Raja Hindustani’? He heard Nawaz Sharif’s fiery speech on Zoom, then raised his hands in solidarity — and the rest, as they say, is history. So much for the ‘Kashmir cause’ that an elected prime minister is booked for raising hands while watching an online speech. A self-goal for a government that claims to be the loudest voice for the Kashmiris living in India but takes a U-turn when it comes to Kashmiris at home. But let’s focus on the bigger issue of making Modi happy.

Looking at this performance of PM Khan, the self-proclaimed ambassador of the Kashmiris, even Sharif took a dig at him saying that Iske sar mein bhoosa bhara hua hai (his head is full of hay).

After facing harsh criticism on the obnoxious sedition case and labelling others as traitors, the Imran Khan government first distanced itself from the complaint and then the complainant, a PTI labour wing office-bearer with a criminal record. While the sedition charge can’t be registered without the State’s compliance, it was said that PM Imran Khan was unhappy over such a case. Also, that the government doesn’t know who was behind the case. Now that is hardly surprising anymore since the PTI government also doesn’t know who runs it. As a great leader once said, “Doing a U-turn to reach one’s objective is the hallmark of great leadership.” The U-turn of social distancing from the sedition FIR was taken. After all, it is the hallmark of the PTI government.

It’s difficult to understand, though, why such a U-turn would be taken. PM Khan is what he calls ‘100 per cent convinced’ that Nawaz is working on India’s behest and foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi says India and its media are happy over Sharif’s revelations. What, then, stopped the government from pursuing the sedition case? Or is it difficult to measure Indian happiness?

PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz clapped back that India gets happy when a three-time elected former prime minister is booked for treason, and when the ‘Fall of Kashmir’ takes place. India becomes happy when you present Kashmir on a tray to them or when elections are rigged in Pakistan. As a result, a selected government weakens the country, then India gets happy.  


Also read: Mocking Pakistan army can land you in jail for 2 yrs. What about Imran Khan’s old speeches?


The certificate everyone is out to get

These are such treacherous times that everyone wants to get in a word or two to prove they are the bigger patriots. Now Kashmir Committee chairman Shehryar Afridi compares Nawaz to Salman Rushdie: “When you talk about the State and its institutions from outside the country, whether you are Salman Rushdie or anybody who openly challenges the Shariah, you should know ours is not a banana republic.” Now, only if Nawaz Sharif was writing Midsummer Night’s Coup, this wouldn’t make sense even in a banana republic.

Railways minister Sheikh Rasheed claims he has a record of Sharif’s phone calls to Modi from outside of Pakistan. Does calling Modi carry a death penalty? Bizarre how everyone forgets about Imran Khan’s missed calls to Modi.

Historically, anyone who so much as points a finger at the holy cows in Pakistan is labelled anti-State and a security risk. But ours is a history that no one is willing to learn from. It is only the holy cows that escape labelling and even if that is pointed out, it is believed to be an enemy conspiracy, as in the case of Nawaz Sharif.

When PM Khan himself starts giving out ‘Indian agent’ titles from the pulpit, it gives direction to other spokespersons from his party. The idea is to smear the opponent with a ‘ghaddari (traitor)’ ink and with the Sharifs, it has become a norm. There is nothing new that Nawaz Sharif is saying today that Imran Khan hasn’t said in the past. In fact, on the role of the military establishment in politics, Imran Khan on an Indian TV show Aap ki Adalat had said that without the support of the establishment, no political party can win an election in Pakistan. He gave an example of PML-N being wiped out in 2002 elections when it went against the establishment. And how he would have been General Pervez Musharraf’s nominee for premiership. The only fuss today is that the shoe is on the other foot.

If the onslaught of giving out ‘traitor’ and ‘Indian agent’ certificates continues, then the day is not far when the Indian population would increase by some 22 crore. Will Modi and India still be happy? Or will it be like Amit Shah’s 2015 ‘firecrackers will burst in Pakistan if the BJP doesn’t win in Bihar’ moment?

Pakistan really doesn’t care whether India is happy, sad, content or irritated over its national political discourse. What matters is that we have a strategic advantage, as India’s happiness is now in the hands of its Pakistani ‘agents’. If there will be a war over happiness in the future, be assured that Indian agents in Pakistan have already won it.

The author is a freelance journalist from Pakistan. Her Twitter handle is @nailainayat. Views are personal.

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